Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2023 review


Over 70km of electric range, great fuel economy and game-changing connectivity come together in Volvo’s smartest midsize SUV.

Good points

  • Great electric-only range
  • Google infotainment system
  • Impressive performance
  • Fantastic sound system

Needs work

  • Costly servicing
  • Second row legroom hindered by battery
  • Not as roomy as you’d expect
  • Towing capacity down on petrol XC60

For almost 100 years Volvo has been building petrol-powered cars, but that’s soon going to come to an end with the brand’s promise to go electric-only by 2030.

This switch to exclusive battery power isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, as the Swedish brand has been working towards it for over a decade now.

First, diesel engines were eliminated from Volvo’s Australian range in 2021, and the brand is quickly electrifying and hybridising its local lineup.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 rear 3/4 distance

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have been a significant part of Volvo’s transition, serving as a good middle ground for those not willing to completely commit to EV power.

In Australia, both the XC90 and XC60 are offered in Recharge PHEV form, but we’ll be looking at the smaller SUV here – the $97,990 plug-in XC60 that that directly competes with the BMW X3 xDrive30e ($104,990) and Lexus NX450h+ ($88,323).

The XC60 Recharge PHEV sits on top of the XC60 range locally, and starts at around $110,000 on the road. This represents around a $23,000 jump from the entry-level petrol-powered XC60, so does the plug-in make sense?

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 front 3/4 distance

How does the XC60 drive?

Under the bonnet sits a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that makes 233kW and 400Nm. Unlike the larger XC90 Recharge PHEV, Volvo has dropped the supercharger in the XC60 Recharge PHEV for 2022. The engine’s power is sent exclusively to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

To round out the all-wheel drive system in the XC60 PHEV, the SUV gets an electric motor sitting on the rear axle that’s good for 107kW/309Nm. All up, this XC60 is capable of 340kW and 709Nm, which will rocket it to 100km/h in just 4.8-seconds.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 engine

During testing, we couldn’t quite recreate Volvo’s acceleration claim of 4.8-seconds, but the XC60 consistently achieved 4.9s.

Power delivery is an interesting topic to cover with this XC60 Recharge, because of the nature of its plug-in hybrid powertrain. With a charged battery, drivers will find themselves in rear-wheel drive mode, using exclusively electric power, only leaning on the petrol engine when heavily accelerating.

Unlike a lot of modern EVs, the XC60 hybrid’s relatively small electric motor won’t rocket the SUV off the line with pace, but instead it offers gradual and comfortable acceleration.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 driving rear

Upon heavy acceleration, the engine sparks into life, and the electric motor is used as more of a crutch to stop the front wheels from slipping. This is where the disconnect in power delivery between the front and rear wheels is most obvious, but is only evident in slippery conditions.

As standard, the XC60 Recharge PHEV rides on air suspension that will adjust its ride height based on the driving mode. Though it offers a composed ride, I found this system to be a little less supple than the same system found on the bigger, plusher XC90 Recharge PHEV.

I’d argue that this more direct ride comes at the benefit of a more dynamic drive. Tipping the scales at just over 2.1-tonnes, the XC60 is a hefty midsized SUV, so you wouldn’t expect it to be the most athletic drive. The dynamic chassis control system does an impressive job of mitigating body roll and allowing the SUV to hold its composure during hard cornering.

Steering in the XC60 is decent, but the tiller doesn’t feel overly connected to the road.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 driving front 3/4

Drivers are able to adjust the firmness of the steering within the infotainment system, which does wonders to imitate the feeling of road connection. I found this to be particularly helpful when using the ‘Sport’ driving mode, but wanted to keep the steering light.

As standard, the XC60 Recharge comes on a set of 21-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in low-profile Pirelli P-Zero rubber.

On one hand, grip is something that the XC60 has plenty of, with understeer almost non-existent through the harshest turns. But as usual, this comes at the expense of ride quality, as I can assume a more sidewall would help with a better ride.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 badge

On the safety front, Volvo’s full range of advanced safety systems come as standard on the XC60. This includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, and automatic emergency braking.

A parking assistance system is also standard, but the top-down camera system is top-grade, so I’d be surprised if drivers would need to rely on it.

Drivability scorecard
Power & performance
Ride & refinement

How is the XC60’s interior?

As a whole, the interior of the XC60 Recharge PHEV is fantastically simple, with an impressive amount of tech squeezed in.

At the XC60 Recharge’s six-figure price point, you’d expect the cabin to have a luxurious feel to it, but I’d say that it exceeds expectations.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 interior

There’s no shortage of soft touch materials across the interior, and these soft surfaces are contrasted by stunning aluminium panelling. I was surprised by the lack of space in the centre console bin, but I can imagine that this is down to the battery packaging, as they sit through the spine of the vehicle.

I’m a big fan of the multifunction steering wheel, as it only has a handful of old fashioned buttons to use. Though a little learning is required for drivers to get their head around what the symbols mean, I love how simple it is.

The same goes for the infotainment controls above the centre console. The big volume knob with a play/pause button is something that’s universally accepted, so there’s no confusion there.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 seats

Despite the simplistic aesthetic of the XC60’s cabin, drivers have no shortage of advanced tech at their fingertips. Behind the steering wheel sits a 12.3-inch digital cluster, and a head-up display is also offered as standard across the majority of the range.

Taking pride of place in the centre of the dash is a 9.0-inch portrait-mounted display, and it’s one of the best in the business. By size standards, it’s not as impressive as something like the screen in the new Ford Ranger, but the Android-powered Google operating system is the real highlight.

In standard form, this screen offers Apple CarPlay with a wired connection, but no Android Auto. This is because once drivers sign in with their Google credentials, the screen runs Google’s Android Automotive OS – the car itself is like a giant Android phone, with access to downloadable apps via the Google store.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 speakers

It’s also worth talking about the fantastic Bowers and Wilkins sound system that comes standard on the Recharge PHEV. Across the rest of the XC60 range, this is a $4300 option, and is more than worth it.

Not only is the premium stereo impressive just to listen to, but it also features a serious level of adjustability for drivers that want to tailor a sound to their liking.

Considering that it’s a Google system, it should also come as little surprise to hear that the voice recognition system is one of the best. From song requests to navigation commands, and everything in between, the assistant will be there to answer. It even answered a question I had (as a recent immigrant from New Zealand) regarding the questionably named ‘Bin Chickens’ that I’ve encountered.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 touchscreen

On the comfort front, the Volvo XC60 is nothing short of spectacular. Though the seats feature a pretty serious amount of bolstering, they are some of the most comfortable of their type. The back seats are less bolstered, but also offer the same impressive level of comfort.

Interior space is one thing that I was surprised by in the XC60, as it wasn’t as big as I thought it would be. Having recently driven the larger XC90, I assumed that the interior would have a similar amount of space, but without the third row of seating, but the XC60 is smaller across the cabin as a whole.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 interior back seats

Front row leg and headroom is more than adequate, but the same cannot be said for the second row. With the driver’s seat in a comfortable position, taller passengers will find a lack of legroom back here, and head room isn’t much better on this front. The biggest hindrance when it comes to passenger space comes in the form of the raised transmission tunnel, which negates almost all legroom in the middle seat.

Those that get the misfortune of sitting here will find themselves straddling the PHEV batteries in a rather uncomfortable fashion.

In terms of boot space, the XC60 Recharge PHEV offers 468 litres of space, which is slightly down from the 505 litres offered in a regular XC60.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 boot

Interior scorecard
Layout & materials
Cabin technology
Driver comfort
Passenger space

What are the XC60’s running costs?

As with most PHEVs, working out the running costs of the XC60 Recharge is a tricky one, because there are a few factors at play.

Volvo claims a combined fuel economy of 1.6L/100km, but this doesn’t entirely mirror a real-world scenario as it assumes that drivers will always have a charged battery before departing.

With a charged battery, we managed to better the figure with 1.5L/100km, but as soon as the battery lost charge, that number increased at a rapid rate. 4.3L/100km was the figure that we recorded during a longer drive, which is still very impressive for an SUV of this size.

On the battery front, Volvo claims that the XC60 Recharge will drive up to 77km on a single charge.

During testing, we managed to get just over 70km of pure electric range, which is close enough to the claim, and more than enough for most commutes.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 rear 3/4 distance 2

As the XC60 Recharge can’t fast charge, using a home charger is the best option, in which it will take around seven hours to fill the 18.8kWh battery.

When it comes to keeping the SUV on the road, Volvo has two service plans to choose from.

Three years or 45,000km costs $1750, and five years or 75,000km will set you back $3000.

Service intervals are 15,000km, so you’d be looking at spending around $600 each service over a five-year period. Volvo also offers a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty across its range.

Running costs scorecard

The final verdict

As a whole, the Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV feels like one of the most well-rounded SUVs in the luxury segment.

This Volvo’s gentle approach to high-tech electric motoring means that owners can just plug in at home each night, and not have to worry about the complexities of charging on the public network.

The same goes for the interior, where it gets a serious amount of impressive technology, all hidden behind a very simple dash.

Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV 2022 front 3/4 close up 2

I was surprised by the lack of interior space throughout the second row of the XC60, so those with baby seats or large children might want to test this out for themselves.

At almost $110,000 on the road, there’s no denying the luxurious nature of this SUV, but finding another electrified SUV with as much standard kit in this price range is no easy task.

Overall rating
Overall rating
Running costs
Overall rating
Running costs


Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1969 cc
233kW at 6000rpm
400Nm at 3000rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
71 litres
1.6L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
4437km (claimed)
All Wheel Drive
4708 mm
1902 mm
1653 mm
Unoccupied weight
2146 kg

About Chasing cars

Chasing Cars reviews are 100% independent.

Because we are powered by Budget Direct Insurance, we don’t receive advertising or sales revenue from car manufacturers.

We’re truly independent – giving you Australia’s best car reviews.

Terms and conditions

The estimate provided does not take into account your personal circumstances but is intended to give a general indication of the cost of insurance, in order to obtain a complete quote, please visit www.budgetdirect.com.au. Estimate includes 15%^ online discount.
^Conditions Apply

Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.

Indicative quote based on assumptions including postcode , 40 year old male with no offences, licence suspensions or claims in the last 5 years, a NCD Rating 1 and no younger drivers listed. White car, driven up to 10,000kms a year, unfinanced, with no modifications, factory options and/or non-standard accessories, private use only and garaged at night.

^Online Discounts Terms & Conditions
1. Discounts apply to the premium paid for a new Budget Direct Gold Comprehensive Car Insurance, Third Party Property Only or Third Party Property, Fire & Theft Insurance policy initiated online on or after 29 March 2017. Discounts do not apply to optional Roadside Assistance.
2. Discounts do not apply to any renewal offer of insurance.
3. Discounts only apply to the insurance portion of the premium. Discounts are applied before government charges, taxes, levies and fees, including instalment processing fees (as applicable). The full extent of discounts may therefore be impacted.
4. We reserve the right to change the offer without notice.